A wise man named George once told me that the mark of a good barista was the quality of their cappuccino. Good advise. Most people seem to agree with this premise. It is simple, yet so easy to screw up, a standard, yet so open to manipulation. It is also volatile, completely dependent on the barista’s choice of beans, the machine in use, and the technique/hand of a skilled bar person. There is the “agreed upon standard” and then there are a thousand variations that everyone claims to be “traditional.” I actually enjoy the latter, it makes for a more interesting experience.
I use it as my standard drink at every new shop I visit. It seems to be the best way to measure not only the quality of the shop and products in use, but the philosophy and passion of the baristas. You can epitomize the goals and values of the shop and the attitude of the venture based on this drink. Why? Training, choices, leadership, business motives, sourcing, opinions, taste, lots of reasons. Maybe when you taste it, you feel that it is way to foamy. Perhaps there is a reason behind this; the mentality of the owner, the abilities of the drink maker, or the philosophy of the trainer. Or, maybe you think there is far too little foam; probably because of the very same reasons (and David Shoumer). In any case, a lot reflects on this standard drink, and thus I believe I should try every shops own version of their “labor of love” in an 8 oz cup/
Just a thought.